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Brace For Battle In The Star Prairie Project’s New Album, “Fight Or Flight”

The brainchild of Nolen R. Chew Jr, The Star Prairie Project, is back and ready to smack your speakers with a needed sign of times in their newest 12-track album, Fight Or Flight.

Nolen of The Star Prairie Project collaborates with musicians worldwide to create his dynamic and palpable tunes. This time, he's teamed up with the stylings of guitarist Ricardo Dikk and vocalists Marcello Vieira and Sandrine Orsini to bring us Fight Or Flight, a fiery new album that examines the world's current state of chaos.

"Regardless of the album's name, the message is: fight. The earth, or our existence, is not like a sinking ship. We can't abandon it," explains Chew. From rising gas and food prices to the ongoing wars and social and political friction, brace yourself for the needed reality checks in The Star Prairie Project's new album.

The record bursts open with an aptly-named intro track, "Reality Check Time," waving the speakers with an 80s progressive rock vibe packed with crunchy guitars and Rush-Esque sci-fi synths. Marcello Vieira's ferocious vocals and fiery instrumentals perfectly convey the situation's urgency. It's a head-banging blazer of a track that kicks off this necessary album with heat.

Moving into "Visions Of War," this chilling yet mind-blowing track is perhaps a perfect representation of The Star Prairie Project's picture-painting tunes. It's another dynamic yet slightly melancholy song that transitions from pain and suffering to full-on anguish with Dikk's flaming guitars and Vieira and Orsini's haunting background vocals.

Something we all know and love, "Sweet Revenge," blasts through the speakers on track number three. The Star Prairie Project kicks off this song on a radiant note with melodic progressive rock instrumentation that shifts into this sweet-sounding anthem that might leave you chanting. The energy is high in this track, and we love what The Star Prairie Project has brought to the table thus far.

Upping the soul and passion is track four, "My Freedom," piercing the speakers with Dikk's shimmering electric guitar and Vieira's crooning vocals, expressing his love and need for freedom. The song's hook is one of the most powerful choruses we've heard to date, and the seamless transitions into the verse and bridge perfectly showcase Marcello Vieira's musical dexterity and prowess.

Slowing things down is the album's fifth track, "Thinking About You," slowly melting through the speakers with soothing background vocals and tender keys. The anticipation is heavy in this track, and the foreboding drums alongside Vieira and Orsini's vocals deliver a profound sense of passion and lust. Nonetheless, The Star Prairie Project ramps up the energy to feed us their gripping rock sounds.

Landing on the album's sixth track and halfway point, "It All Starts With You," The Star Prairie Project scorches our speakers with fierce electric guitar riffs, thumping bass licks, robust drums, and Vieira's menacing vocal delivery. This track is a harsh reminder that all of us are responsible for the world going to shit. We made this mess, and The Star Prairie Project is screaming at us to clean it up.

The album's seventh track, "The Landing," opens on more of a haunting and melancholy sound with somber background pads, lush guitar picking, and Vieira's breathy and velvety vocals that are abruptly interrupted by Dikk's powerful guitar. The song quickly transitions into this fiery hellscape that ironically reminds us not to be afraid of what lies ahead.

Falling into a daze with the eighth track, "Welcome To Their World," we're greeted with hazy electric guitars and pounding drums that catapult us into next year. Vieira's raspy and powerful vocals sound like he's caught right in the middle of battle, and we could say the same about the entire track. It's an unnerving peek into the hellscape we've created, where the poor get poorer, and the rich get richer.

Hail "To The King," says Vieira on track number nine. The Star Prairie Project delivers yet another chant-worthy anthem that dances the line between fantasy and reality, with pounding instrumentals and a sweltering atmosphere like no other. The Star Prairie Project has no problem bringing a sense of urgency to each of its tracks, but this one might take the cake.

As an array of sizzling guitars pour in from the background, track number ten, "Time To Run," pumps through the speakers with heat. Vieira brings that familiar urgency while Orsini ups the soul with her killer vocals, adding a dynamic back and forth that leaves us hooked. If they've made anything clear, The Star Prairie Project wants you to know the time to fight your battles is now.

Continuing the energy is the album's eleventh track, "By My Side," taking a more melodic and soulful route that leaves us searching for the dancefloor. Each time Vieira and Orsini take the wheel together this album has been incredibly refreshing, and their back-and-forth is truly captivating. This song is an anthem for the ride or dies, promising to be by your side until the end.

Reaching the album's twelfth and final track, "The Rain Is Falling," we shift into a more emotional and peaceful sound with lush acoustic guitar melodies and Orsini's silky vocals. This feels like a song of acceptance and surrendering to the chaos abound, bracing yourself for battle and, hopefully, the better days that follow. It's a beautiful outro track with heavy Led Zeppelin vibes, closing the album with a bang.

If there's anything to take away from The Star Prairie Project's latest album, the time to fight is now. To make a better world for ourselves and our children, staring adversity dead in the face is the first step. Find The Star Prairie Project's new album, Fight Or Flight, on all digital streaming platforms.

Welcome back to BuzzMusic, TheStarPrairieProject. Congratulations on releasing your recent album, Fight Or Flight. What inspired you to create such a detailed album about the chaotic current times and fighting for humanity?

The idea behind 'Fight or Flight' was to capture the last few years' chaos, confusion, and anxiety. We wanted the music to be powerful and intense from the first note to the last and invite the listener to strap in for a wild, bumpy, tumultuous ride. Once we started working on the album, we noticed certain trends in the first couple of songs, a certain energy that revealed itself that wasn't abated yet. So we decided to go with it, sort of speak, and by the time we were a half or dozen songs into the project, we were on a roll. It's like the album's message is self-evident to all of us, but like a bad dream, we keep pushing ourselves deeper into it as we thrash around, trying to escape. When I listen to the album, in the end, I'm exhausted. but at the same time, I'm purged and relieved.

How does the album Fight or Flight differ from your previous album, 'Shine A Little Light?' What are the core differences between these two meaningful projects?

Shine a Little Light was more of a compilation than a concept album. It featured a compilation of styles, genres, and artists. We had a large sample of songs and wove them all together. Fight or Flight was a concept album from the beginning. We were trying to capture the current world disorder and discord through Rock music. It's not that musical artists aren't writing songs reflecting the moment in time. It's that we hadn't noticed any deliberate attempts to capture the emotion and confusion through a series of interrelated songs and movements. When you string together the songs in a deliberate sequence, a unique personality and message emerge. In the age of Spotify playlists, this is a return to the art of the concept album. Having said that, the songs stand independently, and several will do well on radio and playlists.

What was your experience working alongside Marcello Vieira, Sandrine Orsini, and Ricardo Dikk when creating 'Fight or Flight?' What was that collaboration like?

It's always a pleasure working with Marcello, Dikk, and Sandrine. They all live in Portugal and have known each other for years. They are talented musicians, and the four form a creative force. Our music is growing in depth and breadth and continuously pushing the limits. We are never afraid to try something different or explore a sound we like from one of our personal musical influences. They are all very busy professionals, session musicians, and members of their own bands and gigs. I'm thrilled to have them as integral parts of TheStarPrairieProject. We work together very well, and the product of our work is a quality sound that I'm so proud to be a part of.

Is there a specific song from Fight Or Flight that you feel represents the album best? Which song makes the album complete?

Actually, there are several songs on 'Fight or Flight' that represent the theme of the concept album well. 'Reality Check Time,' 'Time To Run,' and 'Visions of War' nail the message home. Normalcy, as we knew it, is gone. We live in a post-factual world where logic and reasoning are being usurped by tribalism, conspiracy, and chaos. Political, social, and cultural wars are heaped on top of actual shooting wars. It's a mess, and there doesn't seem to be a way out. This creates fear and anxiety. We all feel confused and helpless at times. We just want to run and hide and return to the world we once knew as normal. 'Fight or Flight captures all those energies and allows our psyches to process them through the music. I think the song 'The Rain is Falling' complete's the album on an ambivalent note. Yes, the storm is ongoing, and the skies are grey, but the sunshine's above the clouds, and everything is temporary in this ephemeral world. Afterward, it's cathartic, all be it, exhausting. It's our lives in the 2020s.

What was your goal when creating 'Fight Or Flight?' What was the core message you wanted to convey to listeners?

The goal of the album is to wake people up. To look around at our world and become conscious of what is happening around us. 'Fight or Flight' trumpets that the world order as we know it is teetering and crumbling before our eyes. While too many remain oblivious to this fact, there's no denying that human civilization has faced the gravest challenges since World War II. To make matters worse, these challenges are hitting us in all possible directions. As if we weren’t busy enough dealing with the accelerating climate change, environmental degradation, and flora and fauna extinction, we’re also batting political and social discord unforeseen in many western nations … until recently. As consumer goods and gas prices are soaring due to the war in Ukraine, the poor become poorer, and the rich become richer. It’s unintentional, but we’re creating a fertile recruiting ground for street gangs and organized crime – the riot squads have never been busier. The earth, or our existence, is not like a sinking ship. We can’t abandon it. If it goes down, we’ll go down with it. The orbit has no lifeboats. Our survival depends now on our response, and the response has to be imminent.


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